Orsson van Bengale1

M, #16501, b. circa 1675

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Last Edited25/12/2015
BirthOrigin*Orsson was from Bengal and was perhaps born there circa 1675. Van Bengale - or from Bengal - was a term loosely applied during the period of VOC dominance to enslaved or formerly enslaved people from any of the countries bordering the Bay of Bengal. He was said to be 22 years old in 1697.1 
Slave TransactionsOn 16 October 1697 Orsson van Bengale and Jan van Malabar were sold by Jan Dircks de Beer to Marthinus Poussioen, for Rds. 133 and one guilder, equal to f 400 and for Rds. 80 respectively, or a combined total of f 640.2,3


  1. [S418] Anna J. Böeseken, Slaves and Free Blacks at the Cape 1658-1700 (Cape Town: Tafelberg, 1977), p. 180.. Hereinafter cited as Slaves and Free Blacks at the Cape 1658-1700.
  2. [S418] Anna J. Böeseken, Slaves and Free Blacks at the Cape 1658-1700, p. 180. 16.10.1697. p. 263: Orsson from Bengal (22) and Jan from Malabar (21), sold by Jan Dircx de Beer to Maerten Pousion. The price paid was Rds. 133 and
    one guilder which was equal to f 400.
  3. [S606] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "A.J. Böeseken se Addendum van Kaapse slawe-verkoopstransaksies: Foute en regstellings", Kronos (Foute en regstellings) 9 (1984): In die transaksie van 16.10.1697 is daar sprake van twee slawe wat verkoop is. Böeseken rapporteur die koopprys as volg: “The price paid was Rds. 133 and one guilder which was equal to f400”. Enige leser sal dit vertolk as sou elke slaaf dus na alle waarskynlikheid twee honderd gulde gekos het. Maar volgens die document was die 400 gulde slegs die prys van één van die twee slawe. Die tweede slaaf is egter vir 80 Rds. verkoop wat die totale koopsom op 640f te staan gebring het. Die verskillende bedrae staan baie duidelik in die document geskryf!. Hereinafter cited as "Foute en regstellings."

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